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HomeRead Right'Sena compromised fundamental ideology' —what Hindu Right press wrote on Maharashtra crisis

‘Sena compromised fundamental ideology’ —what Hindu Right press wrote on Maharashtra crisis

ThePrint’s round-up of how pro-Hindutva media covered and commented on news and topical issues over the past few weeks.

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New Delhi: The Shiv Sena “compromised” its “fundamental ideological position” the day it decided to break its “winning alliance” with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and join hands with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s English mouthpiece Organiser has said, wading into the political muddle in Maharashtra.

The ongoing crisis in Maharashtra took up much of the Hindu Right press’s attention this week. As the drama continued to unfold, Organiser called the crisis the inevitable fallout of the Sena’s alliance with the Congress and the NCP to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition, and claimed it was this alliance that was behind Sena chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s alleged refusal to address problems

“The trilogy of anti-Congressism, Marathi Manoos (sons of the soil) and aggressive Hindutva posturing have been the hallmark of Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena. Right from the inception of [the] Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), it was clear that [the] Congress-NCP combined had enforced their version of secularism on the belligerent Sena that was looking for the chief minister’s post at any cost,” the editorial said, referring to Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s nativist ideology. 

Apart from the turmoil in Maharashtra, the pro-Hindutva media also focused on the killing of a tailor in Udaipur Tuesday — which the Vishva Hindu Parishad described as “barbaric” — as well as the ruling National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) decision to make tribal leader Droupadi Murmu its presidential nominee for the presidential election next month. 

ThePrint brings you a wrap of what made headlines in the pro-Hindutva press over the past few weeks.


Also Read: ‘Ridiculous, based on disinformation’ — what Hindu Right press wrote on Agnipath protests


Maharashtra crisis  

Maharashtra’s MVA alliance has been a “bundle of contradictions” not only ideologically but also on the basis of existing social equations on the ground, the Organiser editorial said.  

“[The] Shiv Sena’s support base, especially in the bastion of Mumbai-Konkan, has not been complementary to that of [the] Congress and [the] NCP, as was the case with the BJP. The representatives connected in their respective constituencies could sense this bad chemistry,” it said.

The editorial further said that the rise to power of the CM’s son, Aaditya Thackeray — after allegedly sidelining the Sena’s grassroot leaders — and the “dubious role of loudmouth spokesperson Sanjay Raut,” added to the party’s woes.

“The main reason for breaking the alliance with the BJP after getting the mandate for the coalition was the inability to get the benefits of power, as perceived by Shiv Sena,” the editorial said. 

“In the case of [the] Congress-NCP, both core ideological issues and power benefits remained elusive. The sentiments about the inaccessibility of the chief minister were growing. He was seen as an inexperienced and inefficient administrator,” the editorial further said. 

VHP on Udaipur killing  

The Vishva Hindu Parishad’s international working president, Alok Kumar, condemned the Udaipur killing in a video message saying that the “barbaric visuals” of the killing and the accompanying threats to Prime Minister Narendra Modi were “a challenge to India’s sovereignty, secularism, and liberalism”. 

“And I would like to say that the people of the country, the VHP, and the government will take up this challenge, fight with it and emerge victorious,” Kumar said. 

Kumar further said that he was afraid that some harm would come to former BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, whose comments on the Prophet Muhammad last month sparked protests across the country. Two suspects in the murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur cited his alleged support for Sharma on social media as their motive for killing him.  

The organisation also said at a conference in Chennai Monday that it would demand a end to “love jihad, illegal conversion, jihadi-missionary violence” and hate speech to mark its 60th anniversary in 2024.

The country, the VHP said, was suffering from violence “due to Islamic fundamentalism”. 

“In the name of CAA, corona, [the] hijab and [the] Nupur controversy, they are trying to scorch the country in the fire of frenzied violence. Islamic fundamentalists are also promoting terrorism,” the VHP said in an article published on its website, referring to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and the controversy caused by the ban on the hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka. 

“Vishva Hindu Parishad is always in favor of freedom of expression. But our Constitution does not allow anyone to insult others’ faith in the name of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, strict legal action is not taken against criminals who give hate speech towards Hindu beliefs and gods and goddesses because of which the Hindu society is angry,” the article said. 

“Legal action is being taken against those who make statements derogatory to non-Hindu beliefs and leaders across the country, but no action is being taken against criminals who insult Hindu deities and beliefs,” it further claimed.

Agnipath

The RSS’s Hindi mouthpiece, Panchjanya, claimed there was a “political nexus” behind the opposition to the central government’s Agnipath scheme. Under the scheme, servicemen and women will be recruited into the armed forces on four-year contracts, following which only a quarter of them will be retained as regulars. The announcement has sparked widespread protests across the country, as well as criticism from military veterans and opposition parties.  

“Some people are continuously politicising national issues, leaving social concerns and taking up political concerns. They are provoking different sections for this,” the editorial said.

“When senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, while discussing unemployment, inflation, says in London that the BJP has sprinkled kerosene all over the country, a spark can lead the country to a big crisis, then what kind of message is he sending,” it added. 

Jainism, ‘conversion’ and ‘Church’s control’ 

Writing for Organiser, retired Indian Revenue Service officer Shreekumar Menon claimed that Jainism was facing an “existential threat” because of religious conversions.  

Destroying the Jain community — which has traditionally been a business community — would bring economic interests “under [the] Church’s control,” Menon wrote.

“If the Jain religious beliefs are destroyed and they are successfully converted, the economic interests would automatically come under the Church control and indirectly be controlled by Western agencies [sic]. Conversion is a very diabolical strategy, and the government and all intelligence agencies should be on high alert at all times,” he further said.

The op-ed referred to a protest in October 2021, when Jains in Karnataka’s Belgaum district took to the streets to protest allegedly rampant conversions organised by “foreign-funded Christian missionary gangs”.    


Also Read: How Hindu Right press defended Nupur Sharma’s controversial Prophet remarks


India’s ranking in Environmental Performance Index

Panchjanya also published an article challenging the findings of an international ranking system that placed India last out of 180 countries in environmental protection. 

Written by advocates Sudheer Mishra and Smiran Gupta, the article claims that the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) developed by Yale and Columbia Universities in the US, used unscientific analysis and surface-level criteria that while ranking the countries. 

Released on 1 June, the EPI assesses countries’ performance on 40 indicators under environmental health, ecosystem vitality, and climate. 

“India cannot be compared with other nations, which may have a population lower than some Indian cities. Denmark, which has been ranked number one in the index, has a population lower than that of than any metropolitan city in India,” the article said. 

“According to EPI, China, Russia, India and USA would be contributing more than 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, but it did not take into account that India has signed the Paris Agreement and has aimed for zero carbon emissions by 2070,” the article said

‘Clean chit’ to Modi

Balbir Punj, a former BJP Rajya Sabha MP, called the Supreme Court’s clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots a “setback to the Hate-India industry”. 

“What the SIT [Special Investigation Team] discovered, and was recently endorsed by the Supreme Court, is the tip of an iceberg of a deep-rooted conspiracy by the Left-liberals pack to destabilise institutions, push India into a vortex of a civil war and finally balkanise the country,” he wrote in Outlook.

“To achieve its objective, the pack — financed by foreign powers — wears various masks. Its commissars masquerade as journalists, NGOs claiming to work for the poor, human right activists, social workers and so on [sic]. There is a global ecosystem which, besides extending material help, also guides and provides them with a ‘toolkit’,” Punj wrote. 

He further claimed that “the vicious propaganda unleashed by the secularists for over a decade had made ordinary and gullible Muslims see the innocent Ram sevaks as demons who deserved to be burnt alive”. 

On Droupadi Murmu’s election

The Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (ABVKA) — an RSS affiliate dedicated to tribal affairs — praised the NDA’s decision to make tribal BJP leader Droupadi Murmu its presidential nominee. 

“We recognise this as a historic moment of far-reaching impact on the 12-crore janajati (tribal) people of Bharat. The janajatis are an integral constituent of tradition and inheritors of an esteemed culture of the great Indian nation. However, they have been overlooked and disregarded for many centuries,” read a statement issued by ABVKA president Ramchandra Kharadi.

Kharadi added that the decision gives a “rare opportunity” for all political parties to pronounce their commitment toward the comprehensive development of the janajatis.

JNU professor and Right-leaning commentator Makarand R. Paranjape wrote in an opinion piece for Gulf News that Murmu’s election would reaffirm India’s commitment to removing social inequality, adding that non-NDA members — including the YSR Congress Party, the Biju Janata Dal, the Janata Dal (United), the Lok Janshakti Party, the Janata Dal (Secular), and the Bahujan Samaj Party — have also offered their support to Murmu. 

“When she travels all over the world as India’s Head of State, Murmu will exemplify, contrary to all the negative press, that Narendra Modi, the BJP, and Indian society as a whole, are much more accepting of diversity and much more committed to removing social inequality than many other more so-called advanced nations,” he wrote. 

“That she follows Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit or member of the Scheduled Castes of the Indian Constitution, only strengthens the BJP’s social justice credentials. That this government has been bold in breaking with earlier calculations and compulsions is all the more creditable”, wrote Paranjape. 

Belt Road initiative and China’s intentions 

Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, wrote in Prabhat Khabar that the future of China’s global infrastructure development strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is in the doldrums due to Beijing’s ill intentions and “debt-trap diplomacy”.

“The first conference of the BRI Forum was convened in 2017, in which more than 100 countries participated. India had boycotted the summit because it is said to be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPIC), which is being built in the part of Jammu and Kashmir that isunder Pakistani occupation,” Mahajan wrote in Hindi. 

“When the second conference of the BRI Forum took place at the end of April 2019, it saw more participation than the first one, but at the same time many question marks started cropping up in the context of the project,” he wrote.

The BRI began through schemes that seemed economically beneficial to the countries concerned, but were part of China’s “debt-trap diplomacy”, he wrote.

“Today, when the countries concerned are in trouble due to the Belt and Road Initiative, the world’s attitude towards China is changing rapidly,” he added.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)


Also Read: How Rahul Gandhi ‘defied’ Gandhi & Ambedkar: What Hindu Right press focused on this week


 

 

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